LeBron James Is The MVP, Not Giannis.

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Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat showed out to a game 1 win against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis’ inability to perform in 4th quarters proves what we should already know: LeBron James is the NBA’s real MVP.

Being the best player on the floor in the fourth quarter of big games is hard. Only a couple guys can do it(the real MVP’s). We saw what felt like big games at the time: Bucks-Lakers back in march and Lakers-Clippers the following day. Both teams understood the magnitude of these matchups and the ability of LeBron James to impose his will late in games should have told NBA writers(voters) what VALUE means in the NBA.

Statistics are entertaining to use for comparisons into the game’s past, but we can’t fall victim to stat-watching for this year’s MVP race. We did it for Russell Westbrook in 2017 and it couldn’t have landed more like Charles Barkley’s MVP over Jordan. A complete embarrassment to the sport.

Since LeBron entered the league in 2003, he has the most “clutch” baskets in the NBA making 7-16(43.8%). No one else is close.

Even this stat back in 2018 shows how much LeBron’s game was separating itself late. Showing real value when it counts:

Writers and broadcasters desperately cling to Giannis and his regular season statistics, but what is “value”? In our past(and apparently today) it means “who has the most compelling story line?” That’s a great way to award MVP’s to players other than the game’s best player. Not like LeBron was dominated statistically and then shrunk against the Bucks.

Giannis and Kawhi came to town for an ass kicking. Both sides understood the intensity of those games. They meant something. LeBron taught two 48-minute college courses on what being valuable means. When the game is on the line(regular season or not) LBJ’s teammates expect me to get it done, while Giannis sprinkles his game from the first quarter into the mid-fourth.

Watching the Jordan documentary did justice showing the process of MJ leading up to clutch time. Giannis and the Bucks not only don’t have a process in the clutch, but the ball wasn’t even IN HIS HANDS. Most notable from the top graphic is that Antetokounmpo had nearly as many shot attempts(4) as he did turnovers(3).

The inevitable MVP winner(Giannis) shouldn’t be soaking in the benefits of regular season team success or stats. He should be judged on one simple criteria: If (team’s best player) Giannis was off his team, who would they be?

We know LeBron James’ Lakers have the worst offense in the NBA in his absence. Let’s check it out:

The real MVP of the NBA is LeBron James. He brings harmony and success to the team directly through his minutes on the floor. There’s no hiding behind team success or another player picking up his value for a month or having team depth carry some weight. LBJ is the most impactful force on the floor in the Western Conference. The excuses should end now.

Pretending the Eastern Conference is magically strong the moment James leaves is laughable. We didn’t reward the 67-win Atlanta Hawks in 2015 with an MVP candidate. Let’s not reward Giannis for being apart of the same accomplishment.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. Lebron having more clutch shots than MJ does not even remotely make him as clutch as MJ, you need to stop with that garbage. Lebron has played a longer career first off. And what are you smoking, do I need to mention the amount of times Lebron has dropped the ball in his career? I can name several playoff games including crucial games in the FInals where Lebron has scored in the single digits for WHOLE games. You talk about Gianiss scoring 3 points in the 4th quarter, what about Lebron scoring 8 points for a whole game in the FInals???

  2. I was sent the perfect quote to be sent to LeBron, Kaepernick, all of their minion athlete follwers and BLM………Black Privilege: The Ability to Break Every Law in the Country and Still Remain the Victim.

  3. Today’s NBA is no different than the NBA of the 70’s early 80’s. It’s become glorified one on one ball. It’s a half court game and it’s lame.

    Lots of rich guys stand around anD watch another super rich guy take all the credit.

    The only difference is that the guys standing around Today make generational money while they watch.

  4. The queen brings harmony while he has a history of throwing his team mates under the bus come on man and he wears number 23 that is just wrong. Little perspective here would have loved to see the queen compete against Bill Laimber, Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman that was some serious basketball much tougher league. The queen is soft always has been now the real deal 23 Michael Jordan all that has to be said is 6-0 6 MVP i wont mention the scoring championships all defensive and defensive player of the year.

  5. MVP is a regular season award. Giannis had the highest Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of all-time. I repeat… all-time. That should pretty much be the argument.

    The Bucks are in real trouble in the playoffs if he doesn’t show up in 4th quarters. Let the series play out and then judge him for it. Too bad even as a Bucks fan I have little interest in watching the NBA right now.

  6. That’s a fair breakdown Gary. I don’t personally care for LeBron, but he is the MVP in the NBA based on the raw impact he has when he’s on the floor. He’s a matchup nightmare, plain and simple. A 6’9” 250 dude who can play every position is something you can’t defend. I do think adding Davis made the ultimate difference In the Lakers being a good team as opposed to a pedestrian team, because even LeBron couldn’t make that team any good last year.

    I disregard the whole clutch shot stat comparison between he and Jordan, primarily because Jordan played in a lot of teams where the Bulls were boat racing opponents, so he didn’t need to take so many game ending shots like he did early in his career. Jordan took most of his game ending shots in the second and third quarters of games, not the fourth.

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